For those who would like to follow along…
We left our house right on time on Wednesday mid-day and decided to grab some lunch on the way instead of eating before we left the house. That would be one.more.thing. to clean up before we got in the van, and why not consecrate the swagger wagon with the smell of chicken and fries within the first 5 minutes?
Also, I don’t know if it’s just me, but my ideal traveling trip is having ALL of the laundry done and put away, rooms clean, and the house spit-spot before a trip. Nothing is worse than coming home to a cluttered house, begging for attention that I definitely don’t have to spare.
Our drive to our friend’s house in Miami, Texas (really, outside of Miami- i.e. in the country!) was not newsworthy. Philip had to spontaneously do some work in the car, so we are thankful for the use of his HotSpot on his phone. He got about 3 hours in, and if he can do some in the car, that’s less he has to do at our destinations. Just being real. The reason we can do a trip like this is because we have designated work days for him to camp out at our condo or hotel or whatever and get some good hours in while I take the boys out gallivanting and exploring. Self-employment means there is no vacation time or sick time or “mental health” days. If you aren’t working, you aren’t getting paid. That’s a tricky situation sometimes.
Our friends are some of the most gracious people on Earth, and we got to feed and even pet their cows. They only have 4 head. I have never been so close to cows, honestly, at least without a fence between us. The massive size of these animals made me aware of the disparity between them and my kids. You could say my guard was up, especially because if you move too fast, they get spooked and back up really fast. If your foot is near their hoof or behind them, you could get badly hurt. But it was a fantastic experience, and so much fun for the boys to experience.
We watched the sun set over the hills and the black sheet cover the sky with brightly twinkling lights, much, MUCH brighter than where we live. Always a treat for us city-folk.
Then we put the boys to bed and shortly after, one of Deron’s molars came out! It was surprising, since it had only started to wiggle that day! After the hubbub, we ended up staying up far too late chatting with our friends over cinnamon cardamom tea and went to sleep.
Nothing beats waking up in the country. The quietness is so loud when you’re not used to it. It’s like the sun’s rays have their own sound.
We noticed the van had picked up a nail somewhere on our journey to the panhandle and was causing a slow leak, so our first stop was a Firestone in Amarillo. Today I was thankful for the digital tire pressure gauge and our Firestone tire warranty. A quick stop at the store and we were on our way again.
Today’s scenic stop was Palo Duro Canyon and the Word of the Day was “dry”. It was a hard one not to say and the boys had a great time trying to trick us to say it. We gave in a few times. 😉
I want to teach the boys to have their eyes up, to notice things around them, and to be considerate and considering. This was built in to their activity pages in their notebooks (“things to look for”) and even the Word of the Day. It gets their ears and eyes open, searching, looking, being aware of the beauty I’m trying to show them in this amazing world God made for us to enjoy. It also gets them used to considering people. How long has it been since someone really looked at you -for more than a few second- and saw deep into your soul. It can change a person. Even a lot of married people only do this once, on their wedding day. I want to have my children consider people and their lives as they go, as a daily activity in Love. It doesn’t have to be weird. It definitely doesn’t have to be hard. But it does take intentionality.
We hiked a bit down into the canyon, chased a Roadrunner on the trail, the boys took a few pictures (there are only 27 exposures on their point-and-shoot cameras!), and we were back on the road. It took another 5 hours to get to Santa Fe, stopped for coffee on Old Route 66 in Tucumcari (which looks exactly like Radiator Springs in Cars- very cool) and we were greeted with a gorgeous sunset over the mountains. We found a highly reviewed pizza place and it was there that our second tooth was lost! 2 in 2 days! What are the odds? After dinner, we headed to our condo and hit the hay as soon as we got our bags out. Weary travelers already!
Today we woke up to a rainy forecast. We slept in and decided to take the day easy. We’re still all recovering from a few late nights and it’s chilly and cloudy, so why not? I’m determined to rest when we feel led to rest and go hard when we have the energy. So after having some coffee, protein shakes for breakfast, and our vitamins, Philip got ready to work and I got me and the boys ready to do whatever we were up to.
I convinced the boys that we HAD to go to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum because, well, I love art so they must learn to love art. Hahaha. But seriously, show them the greats and they’ll learn how to distinguish. I would highly recommend the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. It’s not huge, but it has a great representation of her art and some engaging activities for the kids! They gave them sketch pads and pencils to use and there’s a scavenger hunt. Something I would do! Oh! And the kids get in free!
We grabbed a couple of postcards to send to some people (grandma got them postcard stamps to use) and I bought a lovely bracelet that embodies a lesson I’m soaking in these days… It reads: “Take time to look…”
We picked up Philip from our condo and went to an authentic New Mexico cafe, grabbed some coffee and headed back to enjoy some down time for the rest of the day. Tonight we will hang out in our pajamas, cook, watch a movie and snuggle on the couch- and go to bed on time!
When I talk to people about our trip, some are envious, some are excited to hear about the journey, and some think we’re nuts for traveling with our 3 kids -in the CAR- for so long. Today my ears got tired. Fortunately there hasn’t been much fighting between the boys, but one way we stay sane is we hold off on video games/screens until last resort. They do their notebooks, then play games, then read, and we wait until the afternoon when mommy needs to sit and read or rest or not be asked for a gillion different things or to look at this or hear that, when the screens come out. And I feel perfectly fine letting that go on for awhile. I get charged up, my ears get some rest, and they get to do something they love. So this is what our afternoon looked like today. And it was glorious.